Interesting. This story hit the media back in May but seems to have been forgotten.
Looks like the victim hasn’t forgotten, though:
What I find interesting is the way these kinds of stories are handled in our discourse. Imagine how this story, or an even odder one — say, the whole White Horse Prophecy thing, would be handled if Romney were a Democrat?
For one thing, it probably wouldn’t have started on the front page of the New York Times and Washington Post, discussed for a week, then forgotten as we moved on to the next order of business. No, it most likely would have started as an e-mail FWD:, landing square in the in-boxes of your right-wing relatives. It then would have percolated around the wingnut media — WorldNet Daily and Newsmax, maybe Tucker Carlson’s Daily
Fouler Caller. After marinating there for a while, it would bubble up to the level of TV authenticity: Sean Hannity, Fox & Friends, Bill O’Reilly, etc. From there it would jump to the rest of the MSM (cough*cough*CNN!*cough*cough), which just couldn’t ignore the story any longer. By then it would have been repeated so often by so many different “trusted” sources that the 27% would be certain that it’s true, regardless of whether it is or not.
If, as in the case of John Kerry’s Swift Boat record or Obama’s birth certificate, the story ended up being wholly fabricated, well, that’s just more evidence that the media has a liberal bias! By this point the wingnut audience has an emotional attachment to the tale and it will have its own credibility by virtue of its artificial staying power. As the coup de grace, Regnery Publishing will then fast-track a book on the subject by a known author — Jerome Corsi, perhaps, or maybe Richard Miniter — and it will be given an amygdala-tweaking title like “Dangerous Prophecy,” or “Bully For Power.” The book will “land” on the bestseller lists thanks to massive block purchases of the tome by, you guessed it, Newsmax and WorldNet Daily, which then gives it away as a premium to new subscribers or as a premium for registering for some wingnut conference with the word “Freedom” in it. And because our author, say Mr. Corsi or someone else, is now “on the bestseller lists,” he gets to appear on all the talk shows — maybe even The Daily Show or Bill Maher, so those guys can score some “we’re not biased” points. And the story is repeated, and reinforced, and more firmly entrenched in the national narrative than ever before.
This is Introduction To Right Wing Marketing. Call it Wingnut Wurlitzer 101. There is simply nothing comparable on the left. We do not have the phony think tanks, the ones who start with the premise first (“Free markets, good! Regulation, bad! Tax cuts, good! Government, bad!“), then work back from there. We don’t have the newsletters and Patriot Depot-style mass e-mail forwards to known lists of political true believers. Our lefty magazines — Salon and Mother Jones and even Rolling Stone — they don’t have the same heft and influence over the national conversation as the wingnutosphere has over Fox News. In fact, they have zero. The fact is, the right wing fringe dominates conservative messaging, and that in turn has tremendous influence over the national conversation. Progressive media has zero influence over the national conversation. Read an issue of Mother Jones or Grist and tell me how many of those stories you even see mentioned in the national news media on any given day.
No, if Mitt Romney were a Democrat, this would have been handled completely differently. But he’s not a Democrat. He’s a Republican. And this, along with his other highly suspicious behavior — the funny money, or that he used to dress up as a police officer and pull people over for shits and giggles, or the whole weird Mormon thing, is not discussed, but relegated to the obscurity of fringe blogs like this one.
Just thought I’d point that out.